Otago’s Water Plan is being reviewed by ORC. We are taking a staged approach to the review based on 'mountains-to-sea' catchment areas called Freshwater Management Units (FMUs). In Otago we have set five FMUs: Clutha/Mata-Au, Taieri, North Otago, Dunedin Coastal and Catlins. Due to the large size of the Clutha/Mata-Au FMU, it has been divided in to five sub-areas, called rohe, for a more tailored water management approach in these areas. One of these is the Upper Lakes Rohe. 




The Upper Lakes Rohe covers around 7,000 square kilometres and is home to more than 28,000 people. The scenery here brings in thousands of visitors each year, and who could blame them for enjoying the views of budding orchard trees, snow-covered mountains and stunning lakes.

As we go through this new FMU process, there may be some rules set for the Upper Lakes Rohe that differ from other areas. This will be done in consultation with the local community to ensure that waterway management reflects local values and objectives.



Information and resources

We carry out monthly water quality testing as part of our State of the Environment (SOE) testing. Please note that SOE reports are based on five years of data.

  • Read the SOE report for the Wanaka and Hawea Lakes area here
  • Read the SOE report for the Shotover area here
  • Read the SOE report for the Glenorchy area here

Read more about water quality at the Land, Air, Water Aotearoa website, including the "Can I swim here?" section which is updated weekly in summer months for the following sites:

Sign-up for our monthly newsletter On-Stream. Read previous editions here.


Catchment groups

Name: Julie Perry
Phone number: 027 4989 698
Email: julie@waiwanaka.nz
Role: Manager
Organisation: WAI Wānaka (Upper Clutha Lakes Trust)
Website: https://www.waiwanaka.nz/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WAIWanaka/

Name: Grant Ruddenklau or Randall Aspinall
Email: gruddenklau@gmail.com or aspiringstation@gmail.com

Consultation - have your say

What do you want for the future of waterways in the Upper Lakes Rohe?

Under a new requirement introduced in the government’s Essential Freshwater package, ORC’s Regional Policy Statement must include freshwater objectives developed with iwi and the wider community for each freshwater management unit and rohe.

What do you value most about the lakes, rivers, groundwater, streams or wetlands in the Upper Lakes Rohe?

Is it being able to go fishing or swimming? Or do you rely on freshwater for your crops or farm animals? Maybe you want to see native animals and plants living in the water? What’s your vision for your waterways?

Come along and tell us at: 

Queenstown, 24 November, 6-7:30pm, St Peters Church Hall

Wanaka, 25 November, 12:30-2pm and 6-7:30pm, Lake Wanaka Centre

Or go online here.

ORC key contacts

Name: Bruce Monaghan
Phone number: 0800 474 082
Email: rural@orc.govt.nz
Role: Rural Liaison and Support Advisor (Central Otago)
Organisation: Otago Regional Council

ORC Pollution Hotline

If you observe pollution to water, air or land anywhere in Otago, please call the Pollution Hotline - it's 24/7.

Phone: 0800 800 033